Evangelizing Mainframe
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Security Is Everyone’s Responsibility

You probably spent your entire career in narrowly defined silos: COBOL developer, database administrator (DBA), architect, network analyst, systems programmer. The silo model seemed to make sense when only employee-controlled dumb terminals could access the mainframe and your network connected only to company-owned resources. Life was simpler then.

Today, when anyone can get access to your systems from anywhere, any time of the day, job roles inevitably will have some overlap. Performance analysts need the insight and expertise of DBAs, network engineers and developers to ensure highly available and responsive service. Programmers need to work with DBAs, performance, systems programmers, schedulers and more. 

Security is your job, too. For too long, the job of guarding the critical IT resources was left to the security team. With breaches increasing in frequency and severity of impact, we all have to look at our role in keeping systems safe.

Each of us need to choose more secure passwords for all the systems and software we access, both at our employer and at home. We must keep our software current, installing recommended patches efficiently. And of course, we have to consider security as we do our jobs. Where could someone attack?

But while you focus on looking at your systems, it’s easy to forget that the ultimate target is your data, which includes everything an ID thief needs to hijack someone’s life. And that someone could be you. Systems programmers, DBAs and developers need to team up with security admins to ensure that confidential fields, files and databases can only be accessed by the very few who need to see them. It will take a carefully coordinated effort to accomplish this. It’s your job now.

In upcoming blogs in this series, I’ll talk about various aspects of 21st-century security. We have to be smarter than the crooks, employing multiple levels of security and intrusion detection to make it very hard for them to attack us.

While no one can be completely secure, the police will tell you that you want to be a more challenging target than your competitors. Thieves are lazy; they’ll try for the most vulnerable organization. You want to be sure that even if they find a way in, they don’t be able to access anything useful. Do it right and your clients will reward you with increased business instead of what you will have to deal with if you fail.

Denise P. Kalm is chief innovator of Kalm Kreative Inc. and consultant to CM First Group.

Posted: 12/12/2017 12:00:55 AM by Denise P. Kalm

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